Michelle Heaton publicly announced her health problems in 2012 when she discovered she had the mutated BRCA2 gene, but now the mum of two has spoken about how her condition affects her children.
The mutated gene meant the former Liberty X singer was forced to undergo a hysterectomy and double mastectomy. Despite having recovered well from her operations, Michelle still has worries about the effects her health may have on her family.
The gene, which can lead to cancer, is hereditary so there’s the potential for her children to be diagnosed with it one day – forcing them to have to make similarly tough decisions to Michelle in the future. Speaking to HELLO! magazine, Michelle has opened up about her fears for her children. Both run the risk of inheriting the gene, but for daughter Faith the chances are even higher.
‘I don’t know how that conversation will go,’ Michelle told HELLO! Online. “She’s only five and a half, but I’m aware that in the world we live in, with Google, she finds out things about me already at her age.’
‘There will be a point maybe sooner rather than later, but I don’t know. How do you tell a child that they may be carrying a gene that could potentially kill them sooner or restrict their chances of having children themselves? How do you say that?’
‘I certainly don’t want her to find out from the internet that that’s what Mummy has,’ she continued. ‘I don’t know is the answer, how does anybody know what the right answer is? I don’t want to tell her too soon. But then I don’t want to tell her when it’s too late.’
Despite having the weight of her condition hanging over her Michelle revealed that she’s committed to making sure her two little ones enjoy their childhood, without any stress from knowing about the gene too early on.
‘There’s obviously a 50% chance she’ll (Faith) have to undergo what I went through,’ Michelle said, adding: ‘There’s no point in worrying her and creating any stress in the family that’s not needed till the time comes’.
Michelle made the decision to have a double mastectomy in 2012 when she discovered the mutated gene meant there was an 80% chance she would develop breast cancer.
Two years later the brunette beauty took the brave decision to also undergo a hysterectomy, meaning she couldn’t have any more children, because her chances of developing ovarian cancer was as high as 30%.
In her interview Michelle also revealed that her children often ask whether she will have any more babies, but that she’s just as honest as she can be with them. ‘When Faith talks to me about having a brother or sister I tell that I can’t have anymore children,’ explained Michelle, adding: ‘She’s never asked why yet though.’
‘But the time will come [when Faith asks] I’m sure, probably sooner than later because of the internet, so I will tell her when she asks me a direct question about it.’